Mark Villar

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Mark Villar
Mark A. Villar dpwh portrait.png
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2022
Senate PresidentMigz Zubiri
Chair of the Senate Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies Committee
Assumed office
July 25, 2022
Preceded byGrace Poe
Chair of the Senate Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Committee
Assumed office
July 25, 2022
Preceded byKoko Pimentel
IATF-EID Isolation Czar
In office
March 16, 2020 – October 6, 2021
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Secretary of Public Works and Highways
In office
August 1, 2016 – October 6, 2020
PresidentRodrigo Duterte
Preceded byRafael Yabut (acting)
Succeeded byRoger Mercado (acting)
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Las Piñas
In office
June 30, 2010 – August 1, 2016
Preceded byCynthia Villar
Succeeded byCamille Villar[a]
Personal details
Mark Aguilar Villar

(1978-08-14) August 14, 1978 (age 44)[2]
Las Piñas, Philippines
Political partyNacionalista
SpouseEmmeline Yan Aglipay
Parent(s)Manny Villar
Cynthia Villar
Residence(s)Las Piñas, Metro Manila
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (BS)
University of Chicago (MBA)

Mark Aguilar Villar (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈviʎar], born August 14, 1978) is a Filipino politician and businessman serving as a Senator since 2022. He served in President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet as the Secretary of Public Works and Highways from 2016 to 2021,[3] and was the COVID-19 pandemic isolation czar from 2020 to 2021. A member of the Nacionalista Party, he was the Representative of Las Piñas from 2010 to 2016.[4] Villar has also previously held executive positions in his family's businesses.

Villar hails from a political dynasty based in Las Piñas. His mother, Cynthia, is his colleague in the Senate, while his father, Manny, is a billionaire businessman and former Senate President. His sister, Camille, is a congresswoman, and his wife Emmeline is also a politician.

Early life[edit]

Villar was born on August 14, 1978, to businesspersons Manny Villar and Cynthia Villar. He is the second of three children, with an older brother, Manuel Paolo, and younger sister, Camille Lydia. He attended the International School Manila in Makati, Metro Manila before moving to the United States to pursue higher education.[5] He earned his bachelor's degree in Economics, Political Science and Philosophy from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also finished his master's degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.[3]

On his return to the Philippines, he worked for 10 years in the family's real estate business. He was President of Crown Asia Corporation before becoming managing director of Vista Land & Lifescapes.[5]

Political career[edit]

Villar was first elected to public office in 2010 as congressman of the lone district of Las Piñas, succeeding his mother, Cynthia Villar, a three-term representative who later became senator. During his term, he served as Chairman of the House Committee on Trade and Industry, as well as Vice Chairman of the House Committees on Overseas Workers Affairs, Labor and Employment, and Science and Technology.[3]

As a member of the 15th and 16th Congress, he authored several bills on education, health and livelihood, including the Negosyo Act promoting micro finance and the Lemon Law protecting buyers of motor vehicles. He was also one of the proponents of the Co-Loading Act which opened domestic transport and shipping to foreign vessels.[3]

Villar ran for a third term during the 2016 elections and won. A special election was supposed to be held to replace Villar who joined the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte as Secretary of Public Works and Highways on August 1, 2016.[6] Pending the special election to be held in Las Piñas to fill in Villar's seat in the lower house, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has designated his wife, Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, as interim representative.[4] Aglipay-Villar later became an undersecretary of the Department of Justice and was part of the team that reviewed the water concession agreements of Maynilad Water Services and Manila Water.[7] However, the special election was never held up to the end of the 17th Congress.

During his time as secretary, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) completed a total of 29,264 km (18,184 mi) of roads, 5,950 bridges, 11,340 flood control projects, 222 evacuation centers, 133 Tatag ng Imprastraktura Para sa Kapayapaan at Seguridad (Tikas) projects, and 150,149 classrooms, while generating 6.5 million jobs.[8] These projects were also part of the Build! Build! Build! program of the Duterte administration. The department faced controversy when Senator Panfilo Lacson flagged 469 billion worth of DPWH infrastructure projects that had already been financed by the government for implementation in 2020 but were funded again for 2021.[9] Duterte defended Villar for not being involved in the issue, saying that he is already rich.[10] Villar formed a task force that led to relieving 14 personnel due to corruption.[11]

Villar resigned as Secretary of Public Works and Highways effective October 6, 2021.[12] On the same day, he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for senator in 2022.[13] His candidacy is endorsed by President Duterte.[14] He was named to the senatorial slate of UniTeam Alliance, having been endorsed by the tandem of Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte.[15] He won in his first senatorial bid, ranking 6th out of the 12 winning senatorial bets with more than 19 million votes. He and his mother Cynthia Villar became the first mother-and-son tandem as incumbent senators since Loi Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada in the 13th Congress (2004–2007). Villar was elected as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies and the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

Personal life[edit]

Villar is married to a fellow lawmaker, Emmeline Yan Aglipay, daughter of Edgar Aglipay and former Department of Justice Undersecretary whom he met during the 15th Congress.[16][17][18] They have a daughter, Emma Therese.[19]

On July 15, 2020, Villar tested positive for COVID-19.[20] He was able to recover from the disease.[21]


  1. ^ Villar's wife, DIWA Partylist Representative Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, was appointed as "caretaker" representative of Las Piñas on August 2, 2016,[1] following his resignation to become the Secretary of Public Works and Highways. He was eventually succeeded by his sister Camille, who was elected in 2019.


  1. ^ Arcangel, Xianne (August 2, 2016). "Mark Villar's wife appointed 'caretaker' rep of Las Piñas". GMA News Online. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Villar, Mark A." Politiko. Archived from the original on December 19, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d "Villar son accepts public works portfolio". ABS-CBN News. May 17, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Cayabyab, M.J. (August 2, 2016). "Villar resigns as Las Piñas rep, takes on DPWH post". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Vasquez, D.C. (June 14, 2014). "Born into it". The Standard. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Depasupil, W. (May 20, 2016). "Comelec to conduct Las Piñas special polls". The Manila Times. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  7. ^ Navallo, Mike (December 12, 2019). "Justice chief denies conflict of interest in water concession review". ABS-CBN News.
  8. ^ Villar, Mark A. (September 13, 2021). "The ambitious 'Build, Build, Build' delivers". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on September 13, 2021. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  9. ^ Ramos, Marlon (September 10, 2020). "Lacson flags P469 billion in repeat funding for DPWH projects". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  10. ^ Esguerra, Darryl John (October 19, 2020). "Duterte again hits corruption in DPWH projects, but clears 'moneyed' Mark Villar". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  11. ^ "Villar Creates Task Force vs Graft and Corruption". Department of Public Works and Highways. October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  12. ^ Rey, Aika (October 4, 2021). "DPWH Secretary Mark Villar resigns". Rappler. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  13. ^ Fernandez, Daniza (October 6, 2021). "Mark Villar files candidacy for senator". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  14. ^ Punzalan, Jamaine (October 8, 2021). "Robin, Marcoleta, Langit, 5 Cabinet men eye Senate seat with Duterte backing". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved October 17, 2021.
  15. ^ Mercado, Neil Arwin (December 9, 2021). "Ex-DPWH chief Mark Villar joins Bongbong-Sara senatorial slate". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  16. ^ "Em Aglipay Villar and the men in her life". Bilyonaryo. July 1, 2021. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  17. ^ Ople, Toots (March 6, 2017). "The story of Em & Mark: When love conquers all". The Manila Times. Retrieved April 22, 2022.
  18. ^ Ordonez, John Victor (February 28, 2022). "Justice Usec Aglipay-Villar quits to campaign for husband". BusinessWorld. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  19. ^ Pizarro, S. (June 3, 2016). "Cong. Mark Villar focuses on family". Manila Bulletin. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  20. ^ "DPWH chief and isolation czar Mark Villar tests positive from COVID-19". CNN Philippines. July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Fernandez, Yvette (August 14, 2020). "Mark Villar Celebrates His Birthday After Recovering from COVID-19". Esquire Magazine.
House of Representatives of the Philippines
Preceded by Representative, Lone District of Las Piñas
Title next held by
Camille Villar
Political offices
Preceded by Secretary of Public Works and Highways
Succeeded by
Roger Mercado
New title IATF-EID Isolation Czar